Is That a Wasp or a Bee?

Two of the most common insects you will see in your yard during the summer months, wasps and bees are both colored black and yellow with stingers that pack quite a powerful punch. Another trait they have in common? Both of these flying pests can potentially invade your home.

So how do you tell the different between a wasp and a bee? There are a few different traits to look for.


Although both insects can fit inside the palm of your hand, they are rather different in shape. The honey bee is round and wide, much fatter than his cousin the wasp. Wasps, on the other hand are long and thin, with a body that tapers in behind the wings before rounding back out.


Technically, bees and wasps are the same colors (yellow and black), but to a knowledgeable eye their exact shades are rather different. Honey bees are coated in what looks like hair or fur, and they can range in color from black to brown and orange to yellow.

Wasps, on the other hand, have a bright and shiny body with smooth, bold coloration.


honey beeOnce you get past their similar appearances, bees and wasps are very different creatures. Bees are pollinators that fly from one flower source to the next, enjoying nectar as they go. Wasps are predatory insects that eat other bugs.

Both are attracted to sugar sweet smells, which is why it is so important to keep your kitchen neat during the summer months. Neither wasps nor bees are aggressive in nature, but both will sting if enticed – or if they feel that their nest is in danger.

Honey bees and wasps are both known to builds their nests inside homes when given the opportunity, with popular nesting locations being in attics or on the inside of walls. Regardless of which flying pest you are dealing with, Amherst Exterminators can help. Give us a call at 716-908-2475 to schedule your appointment or request a free quote.

Finding Carpenter Ant Nests Can Be A Learning Experience For You Children

The ability of a carpenter ant to establish a nest in a home is just as interesting as finding it once it has taken over your home. Sometime we forget that we live in the middle of nature and often have to cope with unwanted pests like carpenter ants whose natural job is to break wood down and use it to build their nest.

The problem is that they do not know that the wood they are munching on is your home!

Carpenter ants may build their nest in a window sill plate hidden between siding and inner drywall with just a hint of sawdust being kicked out of the nest in the early part of the year to lay eggs. The nest may be in an overhead garage door beam that leaves sawdust on your new car in the morning as your leaving for work. These are just two possible signs that an active nest is in your home.

Finding a carpenter ant nest can be difficult, and it may take help from your entire family. We recommend getting your children involved in the ant finding process, teaching them valuable skills for their future and making this potentially frightening situation a fun one for them.

When a ton of ants are seen in a family room and there is no sign of a nest – just ant after ant walking around the room – you tend to get a bit nervous. So the first thing to do is to look for soft damaged wood. If you can’t find any soft damaged wood or sawdust being kicked out, it is time to go grab a stethoscope.

Involve you children, allowing them to help in the search for sawdust and giving them a turn listening to the walls with your stethoscope. The minute someone hears crackling sounds in the walls, you can be sure you have found the nest.

Once the nest has been found, all that is left to do is call Amherst Exterminators to get rid of the problem before any more damage is done. To learn more about our service, visit us online or call us direct at 716-908-2475.

Calling A Pest Control Company That Can Answer Your Questions

The thought of having a pest problem in your home or business is worrisome enough, but finding a company that will take the time to listen to your problem can be just as difficult – unless you find the right company. Here at Amherst Exterminators we are always willing to listen to your concerns and come up with a game plan that will fit your pest control needs.

Cost and timely service is always out utmost concern. When you call us, we will try and handle the call as quickly and efficiently as possible. If we can’t identify the problem and create a plan over the phone we will dispatch a technician to your residence to find a solution.

Treatments for common pests include baits, residuals, monitoring and injections if needed. Once the initial service has been completed there is a time frame that allows the treatment to work effectively. Keeping monitors in the area after a treatment has been applied will help to determine if additional services are needed to assure the problem is completely resolved.

Baits especially may need to be reapplied or added in other areas, as they will be gobbled up by pests. It may take several weeks to complete the task of controlling the pests, and this is the part of the process that can be difficult for a customer to understand.

Amherst Exterminators understands that after you are charged the fee for the service, you expect results to occur as quickly as possible. We want this to happen just as much as you do, but results cannot always be guaranteed in just a few days. Some baits and treatments take several weeks to eliminate the problem, and the sanitation and mechanical steps that need to be taken along with treatments also play a role in the success of the service.

Please keep that in mind when having a technician come out and service your location, and as always, feel free to call us at 716-908-2475 with any questions you may have!

Spring Weather Brings Out More Than Just Flowers

Spring showers bring May flowers, but many unwanted pests come along with this change in weather.

The beauty of budding flowers, trees and bushes always brings along the insect pests that make their way in and out of homes and buildings.

Ants, spiders, millipedes, silverfish and many other insects forage in and around the exterior of structures, eventually making their way inside. The best defense for this type of problem is to keep your perimeter dry and free from unwanted weeds, moisture and shade. The shade around a home is beneficial for a nice, well protected area but it can also lead to moisture problems that allow ants to establish colonies in and around wood structures.

Keeping a good three foot barrier around your house with no moisture, growth or heavy shade is key in helping suppress crawling insects.

The winter winds bring neighbors leaves, sticks and debris close to your foundation, providing a great source of protection for pests and making exterior barrier applications the key to creating a pest free environment in your home and yard.

Amherst Exterminators can provide this service all spring, summer and fall as you need protection. You call and let us know what kind of control you need and we provide the protection so you are not paying for unwanted and unneeded applications. If you are in need of a spring exterior barrier application, call us today at 716-908-2475 to schedule an appointment or visit us online for a free quote.

The Most Damaging Pests to Your Home

Spring is almost here, and as we mentioned in our last blog post, the warm winter weather Western New York experienced may lead to larger insect populations this season. With this in mind, Amherst Exterminators has compiled a list of four common spring insect pests that can reduce your home’s value.


According to, termites are the biggest threat to wood-based structures in the US, costing more than five billion dollars in damage each year. Common signs include discarded wings, hollow-sounding wood and tubes of mud on the outside walls of your home.

There are two different species of termites prevalent in the country, subterranean termites and drywood termites, each of which requires different removal techniques.

Carpenter Ants

A pest commonly found across the Northern United States, carpenter ants are both a nuisance to deal with and a danger to the woodwork in your home. While carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites do, they do burrow into it, creating nests for their young to grow. Some of their favorite places to burrow down include windows, doorways and in wall voids, so watch for their appearance and listen for rustling noises in these areas.

If you spot carpenter ants inside your home as the weather warms up, this could signal that a colony has been living dormant inside your walls all winter long.

German Cockroaches

Found worldwide, German cockroaches are transmitters of diseases like Salmonella and E. coli, also causing asthma and allergy flare ups. One of the most disgusting pests to make their way into homes, it is important to get rid of these critters quickly so they do not do any harm to your family, contaminate your food or damage the paper products throughout your home.

Honey Bees

As much as we love the taste of honey and the honey bees’ ability to pollinate flowers, no one wants a colony of these winged insects inside their attic or the walls of their home. Not only can the bees themselves be tough to remove, but the hive itself must be completely removed to prevent further problems. If sections of the hive are left behind, it and the honey left within it will decompose, creating a sour odor and attracting other pests to the area.

If you notice signs of any of these pests in your Western New York home this spring, contact Amherst Exterminators for help at 716-908-2475.

Mild Winter: What Does it Mean for Spring Insects?

Western New York is known for many things, with harsh winters being near the top of the list, but this past winter has been warmer than average. While that makes life a little easier for area residents, it does the same for area insects as well.

It is difficult to predict how this winter’s weather precisely impacts the insect population, but generally speaking, warmer weather allows a larger population of bugs to remain alive through the winter months. That, in turn, means a larger insect population in early spring.

“In the Northeast, milder winters are leading to changes in the distribution of plants and animals, including forest pests and insects that spread disease,” the Cary Institute explains. “Less snow translates into less snowmelt to the detriment of groundwater supplies. A lack of insulating snow cover damages plant roots. And intense rain events result in flooding, with damages to infrastructure.”

So while you’ve enjoyed our mild winter, make sure your home is ready for the spring and the return of the insects. Amherst Exterminators eliminates pests in a safe and cost-effective manner. With a proper inspection and subsequent treatments, we can correct or prevent any pest control problem.

Amherst Exterminators uses a process called Integrated Pest Management, which has six steps to ridding your home of bugs. That includes an inspection, an identification of the problem, applications of non-chemical and chemical approaches, continual monitoring and communication with you to keep you informed during and after the treatment.

We can help you fight against the possibly larger insect population and ensure your home is insect free. With years of experience, Amherst Exterminators has helped residents throughout Western New York to get rid of the pests that not only spread disease and painful or itchy bites, but can damage property as well.

As spring arrives, call Amherst Exterminators to schedule an inspection of your home. We pride ourselves on protecting our neighbors from everything from ants, flies and bed bugs to mice, rats and bats. Find out how we can help you today by calling 716-908-2475.

Keep Rats Out of Your Home and Yard

A pest that no homeowner wants to deal with, the rat is a dirty and unattractive mammal that carries a wide range of disease transmittable to humans, including salmonella. Nocturnal in nature, it is easy for rats to go unnoticed. Whether you catch a rat skittering around your backyard when you take Fido out before bed or you wake up to see your garbage cans have been raided, there are a few precautions you can take to make your yard and home as unpleasant to these rodents as possible.

Clean Up Your Yard

Rats love dark, enclosed spaces and typically stick to the same paths once they have been established, so we recommend looking for and eliminating rat runs around your yard. Tracks that are left in low vegetation, paths formed between ivy and your home, and holes through piles of wood or debris are all common when dealing with rats. The easiest way to eliminate these rodents from your yard is to get rid of the places they like to visit, removing anything that rats can get into from your property.

Cut Off Food Sources

Another important thing to do when dealing with rats is to cut off all potential sources of food. Keep garbage and grass seed in rat-proof containers, remove bird feeders from your lawn and clean up pet droppings every day. Without anywhere to hide or anything to eat, the rats will most likely leave your yard in search of somewhere that better meets their requirements.

Seal Your Home

If your home isn’t yet properly sealed from pests, we recommend sealing up gaps, holes and heating vents to keep rats from getting inside your house. Since these critters are able to chew through foam insulation, it is best to use heavy-gauge screening or to combine foam insulation with wire mesh.

If you do notice signs of a rat infestation inside your Western New York home, contact Amherst Exterminators immediately at 716-908-2475.

Cockroaches Inspire Rescue Robot

Often more than two inches in length and a carrier of a variety of diseases, the cockroach is one of the most disliked critters to regularly make its way into human homes. This bug can get into almost anything, devouring the food in your pantry and causing allergies to flare up. But in spite of all the trouble that they cause, the very features that make us despise the cockroach are the same ones that have inspired researchers Kaushik Jayaram and Robert J. Full to create a prototype rescue robot in its likeness.

In an article recently released by PNAS, the researchers discuss the discoveries they made when studying the cockroach and its exoskeleton, and how this information has played a vital role in the creation of a soft, legged search-and-rescue robot.

Called the exoskeleton, the outer shell of the cockroach is made up of overlapping places of chitin, a material held together with a flexible membrane. The combined flexibility and durability of the cockroach’s shell allow it to fit into tiny spaces with ease. How tiny? The researchers discovered that a cockroach can fit into a space less than a quarter of its height by collapsing its exoskeleton and spreading out sideways. Incredibly fast and able to get into almost anything, the cockroach is practically built for finding humans in the debris of earthquakes and other natural disasters.

See just how cockroaches and the search-and-rescue robot work in the video below:

While you probably love the idea of the search-and-rescue cockroach, that doesn’t mean you have to accept the presence of real roaches. If you find one in your Western New York home, Amherst Exterminators is here to help! Contact us at 716-908-2475 for all your pest control needs.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Attacking US Agriculture

A recent article from Texas newspaper Times Record News highlighted three of the most damaging pests to crops, one of which is the brown marmorated stink bug. A bug that was first found in Pennsylvania during the 1990s, the brown marmorated stink bug wreaks havoc on farms across the United States, causing more than $30 million in damage to apple crops alone in 2010.

Not only is the brown marmorated stink bug extremely harmful to crops, but it is also known for spending its winters indoors, both in homes and vehicles. And although this stinkbug won’t do any damage to your house, it can be quite a nuisance, since is lets off a foul odor when bothered or squished.

Where Are They Found?

Found across most of the continental United States, this invasive stinkbug originated in Asia and has been able to spread so rapidly because of a lack of natural predators. Detected in 42 states and two Canadian provinces, these bugs are a big nuisance to farmers and residents across the Northeast. Brown marmorated stink bugs aren’t picky when it comes to snacking, but Stop BMSB has created a crop-by-crop analysis of their favorite foods to feast on.

What Can You Do?

If you are finding brown marmorated stink bugs throughout your home or business, don’t panic. These creatures are completely harmless to you and your home. There are a few ways to get rid of stinkbugs without the stink, including vacuuming them up and trapping them in a metal pan filled with soapy water. We recommend using a Shop-Vac or an old vacuum that you don’t frequently use to prevent the stink from getting into your everyday cleaning companion.

If you need help handling your infestation, Amherst Exterminators is just a phone call away at 716-908-2475. Servicing the Amherst, Williamsville, Kenmore, Tonawanda areas and more, we are happy to assist with all your exterminating needs.


Buffalo Moves Up on List of Most Infested Bed Bug Cities

Orkin recently released their 2016 list of the top 50 cities with bed bugs, and while Chicago topped the list for the fourth year in a row, Buffalo made quite the jump, moving up from number 26 to number 20. A small, brown insect that feeds on human blood, bed bugs are about the size of apple seeds and leave itchy red welts, similar to mosquito bites, on the skin. Not necessarily a sign of uncleanliness, there are a couple different ways that bed bugs can make their way into your home and bed.

Used Clothes and Furniture

Although shopping thrift stores for unique, vintage finds is a popular trend, it is important to take proper care before bringing any type of used clothing or furniture into your home. Common carriers of bed bugs, clothes should be put in the washing machine immediately to prevent potential bed bugs infesting your home. When it comes to furniture it is important to perform a thorough inspection before your purchase, checking for the presence of bugs and stains. If you are still worried even after checking for bugs, you can also reupholster the furniture – preferably outside or in a garage – to keep bed bugs at bay.

Hotel Stays

Before booking your next hotel stay, remember to check the web for complaints of bed bugs. While these critters can appear anywhere, it is better not to take chances. Regardless of where you stay, it is a good idea to check your room for bugs upon arrival, searching the beds and nearby furniture. Instead of hanging luggage in the closet or tossing your bags on floor, set it up on a luggage stand to keep your things out of the way of any potential infestation. If you do see signs of bed bugs, head to the front desk immediately to report your findings.

Take care purchasing used goods, check your room when staying at hotels and watch for signs of bed bugs to keep your home and family bite-free. If you are experiencing a bed bug infestation in the Western New York area, contact Amherst Exterminators at 716-908-2475 to handle the problem immediately.